Chess: Niemann sues Carlsen and others for $100m after recovery in St Louis | Magnus Carlsen
Hans Niemann, the 19-year-old accused by the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, from being a cheater, made an impressive comeback in the second half of the US Championship in St Louis. After that, his next move was in Eastern Missouri District Court, seeking $100 million in damages from Carlsen, the chess.com website, streamer Hikaru Nakamura and others, alleging that they “colluded to blacklist him” at major events, including “Chess Wimbledon” in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands.
Second to last of 14 players in the U.S. Championship at the midpoint with 2.5/7, Niemann improved to tied for fifth and 7/13 at the finish. Of the five members of the US Olympic team, only former world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana, who won the title, beat him. His tournament performance was exactly at the level expected from his previous results, while his best game started with 18 theoretical moves and was decided on move 36 when Black chose Rd8? instead of Rc8!
Niemann followed his victory in round 10 on Sunday with a moving interview where he admitted: “I was certainly humbled a lot in this tournament”, adding: “I am a competitive chess player on my way to becoming world champion.” He did not comment on the chess.com report which claimed he cheated more than 100 times in online events.
Niemann countered his detractors with board successes under conditions where cheating was virtually impossible. Skeptics had believed that his inability to describe his over-the-board games in concrete terms in post-mortem interviews was evidence that he was playing without understanding and therefore needed computer assistance.
His U.S. Championship matches relied on solid pre-game preparation and tactical vigilance. Carlsen, after his Sinquefield Cup loss, claimed that Niemann “wasn’t tense or fully focused on the game in critical positions”, but viewers of the St Louis live stream could see that Niemann often deflected the look at the board where his opponent was looking. Mikhail Tal and Vasyl Ivanchuk did too.
St Louis’ state-of-the-art and expensive security precautions, with metal detecting rods, radio frequency scanners and scanners to check silicon devices, were probably the most comprehensive for any chess tournament in history. They did the rounds, and there were no serious suggestions that a game was played abnormally.
The upshot is that Niemann, competing unaided as a rookie in the U.S. Championship, and playing under the extreme pressure of all the many allegations before and during the tournament, has always played at the level of the world’s top 40 grandmasters and maintained its elite. rating 2700.
Niemann has always denied the accusations made by Carlsen, saying he only cheated twice in his life playing chess online and it was one of the biggest regrets of his life.
There is a difference between cheating with widespread computer help, which is very rare, unlikely to succeed, and subject to a long ban, and cheating with an online computer, which is easy to do, difficult to control, possible to repeat using another account or website, and widely considered less serious.
Carlsen played on chess.com Tuesday with Titled last week, starting a late turn, opening as White with 1 g2-g4 and as Black with 1…g7-g5, and finishing 9/ 11, half a point behind Nakamura.
The talking point came in the penultimate round when the world champion, then at 7.5/9, met Rauf Mamedov, who was half a point ahead, and the game went 1 e2-e4 g7-g5 2 Resigns, after which the Azerbaijani grandmaster withdrew from the tournament.
Mamedov explained in an interview that he considered 1…g7-g5 a “mockery” of Carlsen’s opponents: “If you come and mock us, then without me… Imagine, a very young Anatoly Karpov or Garry Kasparov comes to the center Chess Club in Moscow, against him is a grandmaster 2650, and he plays 1 e4 g5. Well, they will beat you!
Others pointed out that Carlsen used bizarre openings on numerous occasions, including his Double Bong Cloud 1 e4 e5 1 Ke2 Ke7 against Nakamura and his 1 f3 and 2 Kf2 against Wesley So in the 2020 Banter final. His assistants claimed he was doing it “just for fun”, and the world number 1 himself added: “I actually know g5 is a weak move, but I was having a bad day.” Nakamura, not to be outdone, chose 1 g4/1…g5 in all his TT games this week, finishing second in the first and last editions.
3838 1 Bb4! Kf7 2 a4. So now Re8 3 a5 Kd8 4 Bd6 Kc8 5 a6 wins. If Re6 3 a5 Kd5 4 a6 Kc6 5 Fa5! wins, as the BK is prevented from reaching a8.